The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

Standing in Truth

March 4, 2018 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

March 4, 2018
John 2:13-25
Fr. George Smiga

Father Fred planned his usual approach for his homily on Christmas morning. He would call up all the small children and have them sit on the floor around him. Then he would retell the story of Jesus’ birth. Father Fred was convinced that when the assembly saw the joy and the delight in the children’s faces as they heard about shepherds and angels, they would leave with a deeper sense of the truth and the holiness of Christmas. All was going well until about halfway through his homily. A seven-year old boy named Jake stood up and with clenched fists cried out, “I hate my Dad!” The assembly gasped. Father Fred froze. Jake’s older brother tried to pull him down to keep him quiet. But Jake broke away and continued, “My dad promised he would be with us on Christmas, but this morning when I woke up he was not there. He made my mother cry. I hate him! He is a big fat liar.”

Father Fred was speechless, but he also realized that the liturgy was slipping out of control. He had to do something. So he did. Based on an instinct honed by over thirty years of priestly ministry and personal knowledge of Jake’s family, he reached out and placed Jake in his lap, holding him tightly. Jake held on to the priest, crying uncontrollably. Then when Father Fred found his voice, he said to Jake in a loud whisper, “Jake, Jake, you are so upset only because you love your father so much.” At the word “love” Jake relaxed and became silent. Father Fred was able to finish the mass and dismiss the assembly. But, looking back on that Christmas morning he realized that he had attained his objective. The mass was not what he thought it would be. It was violent and disruptive. But because he was able to speak the truth—the truth that anger flows not from hate but from love—people went home with a deeper sense of the truth and the holiness of Jesus’ birth.

When we come before the Lord, we must come in truth. Our aim is not to be polite, but to be honest. Therefore, we must come as the people we are. Jesus demonstrates this in today’s gospel. When he enters the temple, he sees something that disturbs him and he becomes angry. But his anger does not flow from hatred of the temple or hatred of people in the temple. His anger flows from his love for his Father’s house.

Jesus calls us to follow his example, to stand before the Lord in truth, because God wants us as the people we are. Sometimes I run into parishioners who have recently experienced the death of a loved one. They tell me that they are not coming to church, because they afraid that they will cry. I tell them, “What better place is there to cry than in church? Your tears and your sorrow are precious to God. So come, cry before the Lord and ask for God’s healing.” We should also bring our anger to church— anger because of the irresolvable difficulties we have in our families, because of sexual abuse within the clergy, because of growing violence in our country as demonstrated by the recent shootings in our schools and in our public gatherings. What better place to bring our anger than to the Lord who already knows our pain and can help us.

We should bring our sorrow and our anger to the Lord because we must pray as the people we are, not the people we would like to be. So this is our parish church, bring your sorrow and bring your anger here. (I just ask you not to follow Jesus’ example and overturn the furniture.) But, come as the people you are. Stand before the Lord in truth, because it is only when we express our sorrow and anger to the Lord in prayer that we will be open to hear what he might say in response. Then perhaps we may discover the next step that God is asking us to take.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options